Games lack girl power

Games lack girl power

Although there is legislation preventing sexual discrimination in Hong Kong, the same does not apply to the world of gaming.

Video games have long catered to boys, with male characters dominating most games. Female characters do exist, but in most cases, their abilities are far inferior to their male counterparts.

'I like playing Dynasty Warriors 5. Often, I'd like a female character to represent me,' said 15-year-old gamer Jane Lau. But with only a few female characters to choose from, or more accurately, a few strong ones 'it's easier for me to score higher if I choose a male character'.

In most video games, male characters are preset as being stronger. In the popular Little Fighter 2, there is only one female among 21 characters - Jan - and she has the least physical strength and weakest attacking power. She is the best at restoring team members' power. But she cannot beat enemies alone.

Many male players, however, think there is nothing wrong with female characters being the weaker ones.

'I wouldn't like my girlfriend to be more capable than me in any respect,' says 17-year-old student Barry Lee. 'It's OK that female characters are weaker.'

Many video games are from Japan, where men's social status is generally much higher than women's - and many young Hong Kong males seem to support that view.

'It's just an imbalance. In reality, if a girl has a much higher social status than her boyfriend, arguments may arise because of money or other issues. If I were that boy, I would not be confident enough to deal with problems,' Barry adds.

The only thing that female characters seem to have on their male counterparts is appearance. Their revealing clothes, curvy bodies and perfect faces attract guys.

This is one reason why cosplay is so popular at comics festivals - at the recent local Anicon, pseudo model Chrissie Chau appeared as a character from popular MMORPG Loong Online and attracted a lot of attention.

Although guys happily admit to admiring the female characters' figures - 17-year-old student Johnny Chow says: 'I won't deny I expect my girlfriend to have the perfect body - but when it comes to reality, most guys are a bit more rational.

'A girl's character is more important in winning my heart. The game characters have nothing special that would attract my attention. They're all the same: too perfect to be real.'

Kenneth Chan, 18, agrees. 'Their characters are too vague. I don't want a girlfriend who has no inner beauty.'

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